A reader has tipped me to the news that Noteslate has announced the Shiro, an epaper writing slate with a 6.8" screen. (Thanks, Jafnaw!)
Update: Here's the latest on the Shiro.
The Shiro looks nothing like the original Noteslate, and is instead based on a 6.8" Pearl E-ink screen with a frontlight and a touchscreen. This is not the first to use this screen size, but it is the first to come with a pressure sensitive stylus.
According to the Noteslate website, the Shiro runs Noteslate OS on a 1GHz Freescale CPU. It also has Wifi, Bluetooth and a microSD card slot. It weighs 240 grams, and measures 10 mm thick.
Aside from that, I can't tell you much at this time. I queried Noteslate before writing this post, but the folks behind Noteslate aren't sharing any other details right now. (Edit: they did tweet that they are planning a 13" model which will be launched later.)
I don't, for example, know who their hardware partner is or what OS is being used, but I can guess.
I would bet that Noteslate has partnered with Onyx, the Chinese ereader maker, to adapt one of Onyx's Android ereader designs for use as the Noteslate. Onyx has experience with stylus-equipped ereaders, so the Shiro would be right in their ballpark.
Edit: And if not Onyx, then possibly Netronix. This firm has a 6.8" ereader which would fit the bill.
I'm told that an official announcement is coming next week, and that the Noteslate Shiro is expected to ship this fall.
So are you going to get one?
It's up for pre-order right now, but I don't plan to put my money up. The struggles of the Earl E-ink tablet and the Popslate iPhone case have made me leery of the idea of handing my money to unknown and untried device makers.
The Earl has been under development for two years and is back to square one, while the Popslate shipping 2 years late and is showing no evidence that it will ever have the nifty features promised in the original Indiegogo campaign.
Neither company had previous device development experience, and they were not prepared for the many roadblocks thrown in their path.
While I don't know that Noteslate will have similar issues, their silence leaves me with no way to judge whether they can pull this off.
If you want one,
I would wait until the Shiro ships before buying.
Edit: A reader noticed that there was an option to pre-order and not pay until the order shipped. That strikes me as a good option. Thanks, Ingo!